Farm Bill: Ask John Boehner WHY
by Amy Payne, Heritage.org June 13, 2013
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) said yesterday that he will support the bloated farm bill. But as Heritage has been highlighting, this bill does not do what most people think it does.
The nearly trillion-dollar bill actually doles out money to some surprising sources and frankly, it’s not very farm-related.
As the House prepares to debate the bill next week, here are a few questions for Boehner and other Members of Congress:
WHY is the “farm” bill 80 percent food stamps?
At least one Senator was pretty blunt about the purpose of the food stamps: just to “get the farm bill passed.” Such a massive program deserves to be considered—and debated—on its own, not lumped in with unrelated programs and slapped with the title of “farm.”
Food stamp spending has doubled under the Obama Administration, and participation is at historic highs. For a bill that’s 80 percent food stamps, the “farm” bill clearly has the wrong name.
WHY does the “farm” bill tax Christmas trees?
A House committee added the Obama Administration’s proposed new tax on fresh Christmas trees into the farm bill. Didn’t see that coming, did you?
WHY would the House “farm” bill spend 56 percent more than the last farm bill, especially given our massive federal debt?
The House farm bill is projected to cost $940 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The last farm bill, in 2008, was projected to cost $604 billion. By any measure, passing a bill that is projected to be 56 percent more expensive than the last farm bill is not fiscally responsible.
WHY does the “farm” bill spend money to help market sheep and goats—and purchase weather radios?
Heritage experts Diane Katz and Daren Bakst put together a list of 20 “completely unjustified” programs included in the “farm” bill. It includes taxpayer dollars for the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center, which helps with the marketing of sheep and goats. And yes, it has $1 million per year for weather radios.
Let’s be honest. This isn’t a “farm” bill. It’s a food stamps-and-whatever-else-Congress-can-throw-in bill.
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